Many parents have heard of education and entertainment combined into one to form “edutainment”. That is to say, providing kids with educational material using ways and tools that traditionally have a closer link with entertainment. That may include movies, TV shows, game consoles, and increasingly, portable projectors.
We take a closer look.
An obvious portmanteau of education and entertainment, edutainment denotes a fun way of learning or learning through play. Contrasted with mainstream education, edutainment relies far more on interaction, playful activities, storytelling, and engaging the senses and imagination. It does not share the “learn by rote” approach that much of formal education retains, and there don’t have to be exams. The whole logic or idea is that kids learn better when having a good time, especially with parents at home. This latter portion may be quite relevant as you’re reading this, since due to the global pandemic more kids are homeschooling than at any point over the preceding century.
As mentioned above, better knowledge retention stands as the most obvious plus of edutainment. Where traditional classes and topics often prove daunting to kids and schools sometimes boil down to cramming for a grade, edutainment is nearly indistinguishable from play. Thus, kids actively want to learn and have much more motivation for edutainment-based schooling.
Bonding between students and teachers is another big boon of edutainment. Whether it’s parents engaging directly with kids or professional teachers getting to know learners, a more playful and enjoyable approach to schooling provides a nourishing base for better relationships. As humans, we feel better about people we can share joy with, and edutainment leverages that.
Importantly, edutainment is easy in this day and age. There’s so much technology that can be used to help kids learn. And this applies to pretty much any location, from the home to local parks and libraries to schools. Edutainment works so well now because you and your kids can learn and have fun together with your smartphones, tablets, laptops, portable projectors, and many other devices. That’s a huge benefit of edutainment: it provides a whole new dimension to the devices you already own, enticing your imagination as you learn new ways to use technology together.
So it’s no wonder that if you look up edutainment in late 2020 you’ll find it’s a trending theme. The maturity of smart, portable devices and the wealth of content available to us have created a balanced environment for rich, diverse learning that’s fun, engaging, and accessible.
More than ever, edutainment proves valuable because on top of the wealth of content and accessible technology, it fills a much-needed gap in the education of many kids. Without talking yet again about COVID-19 at length, we’ll just say that as many children and parents spend time at home together, this is a golden opportunity to make the most of that time. Instead of just playing video games or watching Netflix (not that there’s anything wrong with that when done in moderation), parents and kids get to spend time together, having fun and learning. And that’s learning for everyone, not just the kids. Parents learn how to be better at imparting knowledge to their children, which is priceless.
So instead of feeling down about the circumstances we find ourselves in, it’s a whole lot better to get proactive and try to make the most of things.
No need for expensive equipment, fancy interactive boards, or heavy textbooks. Got a laptop? Tablet? Internet? Then you’re all set. Xbox or PlayStation? There are plenty of games that have tremendous educational value, including generally mature titles like Assassin’s Creed with their historical discovery tour modes of ancient Egypt and Greece.
If you don’t already have a portable projector, you may want to consider ordering one. With HDMI, USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, good portable projectors interact with pretty much all of your devices. So instead of viewing content on a tiny phone or tablet screen, you and the kids share experiences in big picture format. You don’t even need a dedicated screen, any available wall will do. The impact of seeing visuals and text in big picture mode cannot be overstated, making portable projectors a great help. Plus, they’re light and compact so it’s not like you need to commit to a specific location. Move the portable projector from room to room as your edutainment needs arise.